An explosion that took the lives of 27 men, 11 white and 16 colored, occurred in the Mossboro mine of the Premier Coal Company near Helena Friday afternoon about 4 o'clock. Sixty men were at work in the mine.
The explosion was caused, most of the survivors stated, by an charge of black powder that blew backward and in the misfiring set off the coal dust. It is said to have been very severe and most of the men were believed to have been killed instantly.
The work of removing the bodies of the dead men required practically all Friday night. The blast loosed a pond of water that flowed into and filled the pit, making the work of the rescue all the more difficult. For hours the crew worked in water waist deep among heaps of fallen stone and twisted steel to find the badly mangled bodies of the dead men.
Several of the men, it is said, had been at work in the mine only a week. Some of them were in the Overton mine on December 10, 1925 when an explosion took the lives of 53 men.